Tag Archive for why people keep dying

Why people keep dying on our streets, learn about coming changes to Ballona Creek Trail, and UK’s BoJo gets it

You’ve got to be kidding.

In a truly astounding case of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road, Louisiana officials finally arrested a repeat drunk driver after he missed not one, not two, but seven court dates.

Fifty-year old Jacob Paul Raffray faces charges for allegedly ramming his pickup into a family of five, breaking the grandmother’s hips and seriously burning a seven-year old boy who was trapped underneath the truck.

That came just four years after he was released for paralyzing a college baseball player in a drunken hit-and-run crash, following three previous DUI convictions.

And bizarrely, just two years after he was pardoned as a first-time offender, despite multiple parole violations.

Never mind his most recent arrest, for possessing meth and drug paraphernalia.

There’s no mention of his license being taken away, so presumably, he’s been allowed to continue to drive this whole time.

And we wonder why people keep dying on our streets.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels.

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The Friends of the Ballona Wetlands invite you to learn more about the planned restoration of the wetlands, and how it will affect the popular Ballona Creek Trail.

WEBINAR: RE-ENVISIONING THE BALLONA CREEK TRAIL IN THE WETLANDS

An online presentation hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands and Q&A with CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

Monday, August 9, 2021, 5:00PM

Register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2782870943479543820

The restoration plan for the Ballona Wetlands will create some significant modifications to the popular Ballona Creek Trail.  The webinar will describe:

  • What is planned for the wetlands restoration
  • What is planned for the Ballona Creek trail in the project area
  • What trail design details in the plan can still be influenced

Presentation by Neysa Frechette, Manager of Scientific Programs,  Friends of Ballona Wetlands

Q&A with Richard Brody, CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

View trail map on page 2-42 in the Draft EIR at: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=149710&inline

For more information, including the final EIR, see: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/5/Ballona-EIR https://www.ballonafriends.org/restoring-ballona

 

 

 

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A Twitter thread from Megan Lynch decries the failure to replace bollards on the UC Davis campus that are intended to keep drivers off sidewalks and pathways.

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Britain’s bike-riding prime minister gets it.

At least when it comes to bicycles and transit.

Speaking of which, it’s really not a good look for a local councilor to stand in the street celebrating as a bike lane gets ripped out.

Particularly when his party supports them.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A pair of Wisconsin men face charges for yelling at a couple of people riding their bikes to get on the sidewalk, then coming back and smashing their bikes, and stealing the woman’s ID, keys and cash.

Irish bike riders question why on earth local authorities painted a parking space directly in front of the East Lothian Harbor Master’s office, blocking access to both it and the harbor’s only bike racks.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Culver City are looking for the bike-riding man who followed a 17-year old girl with his hand down his pants, then struck her in the head when she tried to get away.

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Local

Proving there is no highway project so bad Metro won’t back it, the country transit agency is dumping previously approved plans for a high-desert bikeway and high-speed rail corridor in favor of reviving the long-dead High Desert Freeway Project by widening nearby five-lane Highway SR-38 instead.

An East LA mother is demanding justice for her 14-year old son, who was seriously injured when he was knocked off his bike by a CHP officer who just drove off afterwards.

A 37-year old mountain biker had to be hoisted out of a remote area in Mandeville Canyon on Saturday after suffering traumatic injuries in a fall.

WeHoVille talks with Jason Bowers, general manger of Bikes and Hikes LA, which is offering a 20% locals discount for an LA-area bike tour.

Speaking of WeHoVille, the paper decries poorly parked scooters running amok in the city and terrorizing people on sidewalks. Hint: It’s not the scooters that are responsible for either of those problems.

A group of 15 firefighters left from Santa Monica on a cross-country bike trip to New York to raise awareness for firefighter-related cancers and mental health, intending to arrive in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11; they were joined by ten riders who set out from Santa Clara Sunday morning.

 

State

Carlsbad has received a $1.77 million grant to build a 2.5-mile segment of the Coastal Rail Trail on Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard, which will be matched by $5.2 million in local funds.

Del Mar has settled a lawsuit over the bicycling death of a sheriff’s detective for $3.5 million; 54-year old Brian Villa was killed when his bike hit a rut in the road during the 2017 Amtrak Century.

Over 200 people rode their bikes on Sunday to celebrate the opening of a 1.5-mile protected bike lane in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, with the mayor calling for the project to be replicated throughout the city; naturally, not everyone is happy about it, especially the loss of 420 parking spaces.

Survey says, Goleta residents want bikeshare.

A Petaluma public schools food service director — in other words, the guy who managed the district’s public schools cafeteria — marked his retirement by riding up Mt. Diablo with ten pounds of sugar on his bike, representing the amount kids could eat in a typical school year.

Once again, someone has been killed illegally riding a bike on a California freeway, when a man was killed riding salmon with no lights on an Oakland Interstate. The victim was reportedly homeless.

 

National

Tips on how to ride with your kids, from finding the right seat to applying plenty of sunscreen.

No surprise here. GeekWire staffers raced through Seattle’s rush hour traffic by foot, boat, bike, car and scooter. And it was the guy on an ebike who came it first.

A formerly homeless Kansas jail deputy won’t get to have to ride his bike 11-miles each way to work and back anymore, after a crowdfunding campaign raised enough to buy him another car after his broke down.

If you build it, they will come. A full three-quarters of Boston residents support building more protected bike lanes, as a case study shows bicycling “increased significantly” in the two years after one protected bike lane was installed.

A Facebook group has become a lifeline for Gotham bicycle delivery riders, working to keep them and their ebikes safe on New York’s streets and bridges.

 

International

Presenting the UK’s most popular mountain biking spots, for your next trip to the country that isn’t part of Europe anymore.

Seventy British bike riders completed a 280-mile ride into London in honor of late Member of Parliament Jo Cox, who was assassinated by a right wing radical five years ago.

An Indian paper says the bike boom is the silver lining in the pandemic.

Bike-riding Indonesian volunteers are delivering vital medicines during the country’s ongoing pandemic lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Connor Fields is slowly improving after a horrific crash during a BMX preliminary heat that put him in the ICU with a brain hemorrhage.

Two-time BMX racing world champion and Rio silver medallist Alise Willoughby didn’t have a much better day on the track, but at least she walked away from it.

Britain’s Charlotte Worthington went from Mexican chef to Olympic gold by performing a stunt no other woman has pulled off in BMX competition.

Bicycling explains the often confusing Olympic track cycling events. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The sorry state of America’s velodromes doesn’t help the US team.

Cycling Weekly talks with rising Portuguese cyclists and twin brothers Rui and Ivo Oliveira to see if cycling success is in their identical genes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a million dollar, previously unobtainable Pokémon bicycle come to life. Bike to work or school so you can drink more milk — udders optional.

And evidently, it’s just a short trip from getting a slap on the wrist for killing a bike-riding tourist with your garbage truck to becoming a full-fledged enforcer for a Mexican drug cartel.

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Thanks again to Matthew R for his monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; any donation, no matter how large or small, helps and is deeply appreciated. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

The cost of traffic violence, vehicular cyclists versus protected bike lanes, and why people keep dying on the streets

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A British woman describes firsthand what it’s like to survive — barely — a near-fatal collision with a truck driver while riding her bike to church.

I heard a loud bang. A heavy thud. A violent bump. It was me. It was the noise of my body slamming against the lorry. And then falling to the ground.

I couldn’t work out what was happening. My heart was in my throat. I was staring up at the beautiful, bright blue sky, but at the same time sinking into darkness.

I was in excruciating pain as the heavy truck’s wheels – of which there were 12 in total – ran over my leg.

It’s a powerful story.

Especially this part.

I was desperate to see my kids, but I didn’t want to scare them. After two days, I put on my bravest face and held them when they visited me.

My son said, “Mummy, you’re not ready to die. We haven’t finished our story yet.”

Fortunately, she made it. And kept her leg, thanks to five separate surgeries, including one 12 hour marathon.

But something else to consider.

While she doesn’t mention it in her story, one vital aspect in getting back on her feet was the UK’s National Health Service, which meant she didn’t leave the hospital with a massive bill like she would have in the US.

In fact, chances are, she paid little or nothing, despite her month-long hospital stay.

So she was able to go home to her family and resume her life, even writing a book about her experiences.

Instead of being forced into bankruptcy like so many Americans after a similar experience.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune takes a deep dive into the city’s new protected bike lane network, and the problems it causes for some in the spandex-clad set.

“This is to attract the all-ages and abilities groups that are just trying to go places within their communities, but if you need to go fast, the (car) lane is always open,” said Everett Hauser, a traffic engineer focusing on bicycle infrastructure for the city of San Diego.

Many new projects around the region also include bicycle-specific traffic lights at busy intersections and reconfiguring streets to encourage slower driving especially at tight turns.

Still, not everyone’s convinced.

“These protected bike lanes that have appeared in the last few years are the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to bicycling in San Diego,” said Ralph Elliott, 70, historian of the San Diego Bicycle Club and a member for more than 50 years. “They’re unsafe. If there’s a car door in your face, somebody’s walking in the protected bike lane, skateboarding in the lane, dog in the lane all that’s dangerous because you can’t get out.”

Most studies don’t bear that out, however.

A recent 13-year study of 12 large international cities shows that separated and protected bike lanes improve safety for all road users, reducing traffic deaths by 44%.

Although a lot depends on the design and quality of the protected lanes.

But as the story points out, protected bike lanes are designed for casual bike riders who might not feel safe mixing with motorists.

Club riders and other experienced bicyclists who don’t want to slow down should be free to continue riding in the regular traffic lanes, where their speed won’t pose a danger to themselves or others.

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Sadly, two SoCal bicycle riders lost their lives over the weekend.

On Saturday, a 75-year old man was killed by a semi-driver in an Oxnard crash.

And on Sunday, a motorcycle rider somehow slammed into the trailing rider on a group ride in East San Diego County near Jamul; both the bicyclist and the motorcyclist died at the scene.

Two more tragic reminders that our streets aren’t safe enough for people on bicycles. And our safety is still in the hands of those we share the road with.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Iowa man who deliberately drove his car through a group of racial justice protestors because he thought they needed “an attitude adjustment” walked without a single day behind bars, despite leaving several injured people in his wake. To make matters worse, his conviction will be expunged if he stays out of trouble for three short years.

And a North Dakota woman walked away with two years probation after intentionally running down a man she’d been arguing with as he attempted to ride away on his bike.

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Take a 59-second mountain bike break.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

A 73-year old Novato, California woman blames a pair of aggressive mountain bikers for spooking her horse, resulting in a broken wrist, shattered eye socket and a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. Seriously, don’t do that.

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Local

Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge died unexpectedly last week at 67; he was known for his frequent recreational rides through his district, though he also blocked a number of bike projects, including the long-planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard.

Streets For All says there’s still time to run for your neighborhood council; a Thursday webinar will discuss how you can add more bike and pedestrian voices to your council — starting with yours.

Glendora wants your input on plans to improve bicycle access to the city’s upcoming Gold Line — aka L Line – station.

 

State

A La Jolla woman ‘fesses up to being the person who installed a free trading post along a bike path in the city.

Federal authorities seized 600 girls bikes worth $84,000 that were headed to a company in San Bernardino County; the Chinese-made bikes had an excessive level of lead in their pink paint.

A Lompoc paper considers the role the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition plays in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bicycles.

After barely surviving stage four throat cancer, a Bakersfield man took to two wheels to regain his life.

No San Francisco, a sharrow on a four-lane arterial roadway does not a safe bicyclist make.

 

National

Bicycling says the best deals are on used bikes these days, and wants to help with your shopping by listing what they consider the best buys.

Cycling Tips offers more details on the proposed class action lawsuit alleging Trek vastly overstated the effectiveness of their WaveCel technology for Bontrager bike helmets.

A young former soap opera star is one of us, as the kid who played Danny Morgan on General Hospital needed a number of stitches after doing a face plant off his bike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a paraplegic Denver man’s three wheeled adaptive handcycle.

It’s been eight months since a Colorado woman disappeared after reportedly going for a Mother’s Day bike ride; no trace has been found, despite a massive search.

After setting out to ride 2,020 miles across the US in 2020, a South Dakota teenager overshot the mark, ending up with almost 3,000 miles.

Good news from North Carolina, where a 14-year old girl was found safe, three weeks after she had disappeared while riding her bike.

 

International

Now your bike can actively remove pollution from the air, rather than just not adding to it.

A writer for Bike Radar says it’s worth the time and research required to ride comfortably in the winter. Although in LA, that sometimes means just deciding to go with a lower SPF.

Conde Nast Traveler recommends seven bike trails from around the world, from India to Germany — including our own beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Forget how well it protects your head; what really matters about your new bike helmet is whether it works with you ponytail.

A Vancouver man set a new world’s record by riding 7,100 miles to visit 24 European capitals in just six months.

Road.cc calls it an “unexpected outbreak of common sense” as bicyclists get a rule overturned banning bikes from a shopping district, even if they’re just being walked.

London’s city council will take another look at the knee-jerk removal of a popular bike lane after drivers complained it was causing congestion; since the removal, drivers have just used it as a parking lane. As we’ve said before, though, the only real cause of traffic congestion is too many cars.

After riding nearly 50 miles just to get there, a group of men are turned away from a Welsh bike trail for breaking the UK’s lockdown restrictions; they’re told they’ll face arrest if they come back.

British and European bike brands remain in flux as they struggle to adapt to the new Brexit trade rules.

The pandemic-fueled bike boom manifested itself in Ireland, as well, as the city of Cork saw a 35% jump in bicycling last year.

This is what LA could be doing, but isn’t. Paris has approved a $300 million plan to convert the car-choked Champs-Élysées into “an extraordinary garden” running over a mile across the city.

Record-setting 109-year old bike racer Robert Marchand wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, asking that bicyclists be exempted from Covid lockdown rules that restrict biking or running to within roughly two-thirds of a mile from home.

A new Belgian ebike parking unit allows you to securely lock up your heavy bike, while recharging the battery.

Another Chinese bikeshare bicycle dumping ground swamps the city of Chengdu.

No bias here. A Singapore paper asks if bicyclists and drivers can ever get along — but only includes rules for the people on two wheels, with barely a word on how motorists can drive safely around people on bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

German doctor Mark Schmidt faces up to five and a half years behind bars, as well as losing his medical license for five years for his role in the Operation Aderlass doping scandal that took down at least six riders on the pro tour.

 

Finally…

You can’t use stadium seats for sports fans anymore, so you might as well use them to display your massive team cycling jersey collection. If you’re going to steal a tip jar from a business, don’t leave the bike you stole behind.

And yes, the royal family rides bikes, too.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Top Gear host says bikes are guests on the roads, street-racing Rocking Rod let off the hook, and LeMond gets his Gold

Welcome to Week Three of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Jean C, Glen S, Phillip Y, Douglas M, Megan Lynch, Eric G and Luke Klipp for their generous donations to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world!

So what are you waiting for? 

Take a few minutes right now to help keep all the freshest bike news coming your way every day!

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No bias here.

British gearhead Jeremy Clarkson, the former host of Top Gear and the current Grand Tour host, claimed bike lanes are causing tension between the UK’s “normal people and its raving lunatics.

He’s got a point, as long as he thinks the people on two wheels are the normal ones.

But then he added this gem.

I sometimes ride a bicycle in London but I am well aware that when I do so, I am a guest in the world of the car.

Which is why I would NEVER cycle on Kensington High Street. It’s too bloody dangerous.

Even though the point of striping bike lanes on the street was to make the street safer for everyone.

Let alone that bike riders have the same right to the roadway that drivers do, in the UK and in the US.

More, in fact, since bike riders aren’t required to have a license, which can be revoked to take away a driver’s privilege — not right — to the road.

If more drivers thought of themselves guests in a world of humans, we’d all be better off.

Meanwhile, bike-riding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly went ballistic after a bike lane was ripped out in London’s tony Kensington neighborhood, over the objections of the country’s cycling czar.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

Rod Stewart was stopped by a Beverly Hills cop for street racing with two friends on a residential street.

The three were driving cars from his sports car collection, including a right-hand drive Lamborghini Countach. And wanted to see how fast they could go between stop signs, hitting 60 mph in the process.

But instead of throwing them all in jail and impounding the cars, or at least ticketing the trio, the cop reportedly got flustered when he saw who was behind the wheel of a high-end Porsche, and let them all go.

So evidently, the law really is different for the rich and famous when they threaten the lives of everyone else on the street than it is for the rest of us.

Got it.

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It’s official.

America’s last remaining Tour de France champ is the first cyclist to be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, and one of just ten individual athletes to receive the honor.

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Listen to CD5 city council candidate Scott Epstein’s appearance on Bike Talk.

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If you’re looking for a good cause to support, you could do a lot worse than this one.

And do a lot of good in the process.

https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/1335450733345296393

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What happens when a couple of innocent motorist stumble into a bike bar.

No, the other kind.

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We all wish we could do this sometimes.

Or maybe all the time.

For the Spanish-challenged among us, like me, that translates to,

This would not have happened if this crossing had a speed bump.

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No surprise here.

The internet took that story about the $1,000 Specialized carbon balance bike and ran with it.

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Follow along as mountain biker Gee Atherton rides a ridiculous series of Ridgeline jumps.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going. 

After a Portland pickup driver subjected a bike-riding couple to a punishment pass, he got out of his truck and threatened to fight them when they tried to confront him at a red light.

An 18-year old New Zealand bicyclist was deliberately knocked off his bike by a driver who yelled and honked at him before swerving into his bike; it marked the third time in two years angry motorists have run him off the road.

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Local

Twitter may think Chris Pratt is a clown. But anyone who takes his kid out for a bike ride is doing oaky in the dad department.

 

State

Santa Barbara considers options to rebuild or replace a nearly 140-ear old bridge on Mission Canyon Road, including options for a new bike lane.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says step away from your Zwift trainer and enjoy the lost art of winter riding, because it’s almost never too cold to ride.

A Kansas City woman rode her bike to get through her divorce; now she’s using it to cope with being newly jobless during the pandemic.

PeopleForBikes blames Chicago’s default 30 mph speed limit for the city’s mediocre bikeability rating, instead of 25 mph in most of the US. Unlike Los Angeles, where drivers universally ignore the 25 mph speed limit on most residential streets. Along with pretty much every other speed limit in the city.

A Syracuse NY bike shop owner couldn’t do any more than watch on security cam as a teenage boy tried to break into his shop on Thanksgiving Day, causing $6,000 in damage even if he wasn’t able to take anything; the kid was caught by police trying to break into another shop down the street.

‘Tis the season. A program developed by the former GM of Philadelphia’s transportation authority just gave away its 1,000th bike to children in need over the past eight years.

No bias here. After a Florida sheriff’s deputy crashed into an ebike rider, they immediately blamed the victim, insisting he crashed into the deputy’s massive SUV while riding in the crosswalk against the Don’t Walk signal. As if the driver had no responsibility to check for anyone using the crosswalk or sidewalk, regardless of whether he was crossing with the light.

 

International

The World Economic Forum says dockless bikeshare symbolizes the future of our cities.

Cycling Weekly takes a look at health warning signs for bicyclists. I’d also include an inability to maintain muscle mass, which was the first major warning sign of my diabetes and neuropathy, and could have led to a diagnosis and treatment years earlier.

Cycling News looks at the best luxury gifts for bicyclists. Although a decent bike cam is really more of a necessity these days, GoPro or otherwise.

They get it. The UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says that bike helmets won’t prevent a crash, but can be an important secondary safety feature if you get in one; the story goes on to address first aid for various bicycling injuries.

Nearly 60 years later, the iconic bicycle designed by Dr. Alex Moulton is still made in the English town of Bradford on Avon. Which is more than an hour away from that other famous Avon town.

Edinburgh bicyclists complain about having to ride in traffic after the city failed to plow the snow from protected bike lanes.

Horrible murder in the UK, where a man was beaten to death after allegedly pushing a 13-year old boy off his bike, when the boy rode too close to him as he was walking to the market. He may have been an ass for pushing the boy off his bike, but it shouldn’t have called for a vigilante death penalty.

A 60-year old Colombian man was killed in a Hong Kong wreck when a firefighter somehow lost control of the fire engine he was driving, striking the victim’s bicycle before crashing into a park car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly wonders how far Sepp Kuss can climb in the world of cycling, citing the 26-year old American’s rapid rise in the sport. 

Former Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas shared his X-rays to show he was okay after taking a bad fall on a training ride on Sunday.

Heartbreaking news, as 21-year old Italian cyclist Michael Antonelli died of Covid-19; his death came after two years of struggling to recover from major brain trauma suffered in a fall off a cliff in one of his first races after turning pro.

A group of ten cyclists were injured crashing into a police motorcycle on the first lap of an Australian race when a cop leading the peloton stopped to let a car out of a driveway, without realizing they were right behind him; the most seriously injured rider was okay following surgery, after he was initially place in an induced coma with severe leg injuries.

Cycling News recalls the 25 most compelling cycling personalities of the last 25 years.

Rouleur complains about pro cycling’s toxic masculinity problem, saying cyclists should be able to cry like a baby if they feel the need. Seriously? I’d rank podium girls, and pay and race inequalities for women cyclists, far ahead of “big boys don’t cry” on a scale of toxic masculinity in the sport.

Speaking of which, it’s about damn time a woman was named sports director, aka directeur sportif, of a WorldTour cycling team, as Cherie Pridham was hired to manage Israel Start-Up Nation, new home to former TdF champ Chris Froome.

An Aspen CO writer asks Lance to forgive him for being so hard on the former Tour de France champ for his doping, lying and bullying. Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

 

Finally…

If you want to be an internet sensation, just ride around the world with a cat on your shoulders. When the world gives you a pandemic pub lockdown, start a bicycle beer delivery service.

And that feeling when you find a giant fish carcass on your beachfront bike ride.

Or maybe a 5,000-year old whale.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: New California mountain bike org seeks funding, road raging drivers, and banning cars won’t fix it

The new year brought California a much needed bouncing baby statewide mountain bike organization.

And they’re looking for your help get it off the ground.

CAMTB ANNOUNCES FOUNDER’S FUNDING ROUND

Become a CAMTB Founder

Santa Rosa, Calif. — The California Mountain Biking Coalition is announcing a Founding Donors round of funding. The pending 501(c)4 organization was formed to serve the needs of the mountain bike community andin Sacramento is inviting donors to help build the trail advocacy organization that Californians haveour sport has long needed.

Even though mountain biking was invented in California, until now, every statewide MTB nonprofit has been locally driven. It has become painfully clear, while local advocacy is important, it needs to be buttressed by a statewide voice!  Due to the unique challenges of mountain bike trail advocacy, direct action must be taken towards the state capitol, specifically in lobbying lawmakers, drafting legislation and endorsing candidacies.

Donations from our founders will be used to accomplish the following:

  • Increase the capacity of a statewide trail advocacy organization through strategic planning
  • Create awareness of the issues which limit trail access for local clubs across the state
  • Develop messaging that will foster a positive image of mountain biking to emphasize education, diversity, and healthy lifestyle choices
  • Support lobbying efforts in Sacramento
  • Build an effective and collaborative resource hub for trail advocacy best practices

Please give generously to help us accomplish our mission of, “More trails. Better trails.”

  • $50 or greater donation will receive a CAMTB sticker, a letter from the CAMTB Board and listing on Founders Wall at CAMTB.org
  • $100 or greater donation will receive the above and one CAMTB Founders Tshirt*
  • $500 or greater donation will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB inaugural Summit  (TBA, targeting FALL2020/WINTER2021)
  • $1000 or greater will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB MTB Legislative Strategy Session in Sacramento (late Feb, TBA)
  • $2500 or greater donation will receive the above and a personal visit by one or more of the CAMTB Board and/or Executive Director for a bike ride and private meal.
  • $5000 or greater donation will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB Board retreat (June 2019, Lake Tahoe).

Even though CAMTB is so new the paint isn’t dry, we are already making an impact. We were voted  “Trailforks Advocates of the Year” by PinkBike. The CAMTB Board of Directors is comprised exclusively of experienced, non-profit Mountain Bike Club Leaders from across the state with more than 60 years of combined advocacy experience and an Interim Executive Director who has 30 years of experience in the bike industry. In addition to your financial support, CAMTB is driven by trail & mountain bike volunteers from across the state. You are also invited to get involved. Visit our website to learn how.

Donations to CAMTB are not tax-deductible, t. They support our advocacy and lobbying efforts. CAMTB is a pending non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) organization, EIN #84-3396574.

Check donations gladly accepted.

Payable to: CAMTB

PO BOX 1123

Santa Rosa, CA  95402

To donate online, go to: http://camtb.org/donate.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles man remains in a coma after he was knocked out by a road raging driver and his passengers with a single punch in Van Nuys on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, a road raging Milwaukee driver stopped and shot two young kids for throwing snowballs at his car; fortunately, they will both be okay.

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They get it.

The Brookings Institute says just banning cars from new developments won’t solve the problem, until we rethink cities to reduce the need for long trips.

Meanwhile, Toyota is attempting their take on it by building a prototype smart city where cars are pushed to the outskirts, unless they can drive themselves.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

An Ontario, Canada man loses his car and driver’s license for a whole seven days for driving the equivalent of 135 mph in a 65 mph zone.

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Tesla head honcho Elon Musk makes waves with two letters, apparently promising to add tech to prevent doorings in a future upgrade.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

When an Austin TX woman paused at a coffee shop to adjust her bike, a visibly stoned man drank her coffee, then hurled a log at her. Confirming the famous Teddy Roosevelt quote, “Speak softly and throw a large stick.

Unbelievable. Washington man claims self-defense for running over a bicyclist with his car — after flipping the bike rider off for “staring at him” — claiming he struck the victim before the man could assault him. Which he had no intention of doing.

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Local

Road diets work. Santa Monica reports a 71% decrease in severe injury collisions on formerly dangerous Ocean Park Blvd since implementing the improvements.

Speaking of Santa Monica, the LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke are hosting a MetroBEST beginning bike safety class in the city this weekend.

 

State

Learn more about SoCal’s WheelTales bike tours with a pair of Inland Empire meetings in the coming weeks.

Talk about burying the lede. A Sacramento TV station says police are looking for a vehicle that struck a Stockton bicyclist last week. Except he was killed, not just struck. And chances are, that vehicle probably had a driver.

 

National

Location, location, location. A new study shows that, like real estate, the success or failure of bikeshare systems depends primarily on the location of the docks; the most successful location is within four blocks of a transit station.

Now you, too, can own a rare 1903 ped-assist gas-powered bicycle, up for auction in Las Vegas later this month.

A Utah family is mourning a second loss, after someone stole the tricked out ‘bent belonging to their late father and grandfather. On the other hand, it says something that the thief broke into the garage and stole the bike, but left the car.

A Washington mountain bike maker is moving to my former Iditarod-running brother’s new western Colorado hometown. No doubt they were drawn by his expertise in sled dog racing, mountain biking and bike touring across the West. And the nearby corgi breeders, of course.

A Dallas magazine questions how the city can make its Vision Zero plan work when so many others — including Los Angeles — are failing. For one, they need to actually implement the plan, rather than resorting to wishful thinking like LA.

A Kansas City councilwoman is under fire for responding to the death of a popular bike rider by saying the city’s bicycle infrastructure plan really isn’t a priority.

Now that’s a degree you can put to use. A Minnesota state college is offering a program in bicycle design and fabrication.

As if their jobs weren’t dangerous enough, 24 New York food delivery workers have had their ebikes jacked in the last four months. That’s not counting the ones seized by police, in a city where throttle-controlled ebikes remain illegal.

Apparently, New York’s mayor doesn’t need any facts or stats to decide those ebikes are dangerous; he appears to be more than happy to settle for self-delusion common sense.

A DC app allows bike riders and pedestrians to report bad driver behavior to the proper authorities, and check to see how many infractions the driver has racked up using that car. Let’s hope that goes nationwide soon.

After Mobile, Alabama conducted a road diet on a local parkway, going from five lanes to three with bike lanes on either side, people just started driving in the bike lanes, instead.

 

International

Rouleur considers the success of collaborations between bike and car makers.

A Toronto bike lawyer could use his own services after nearly getting beaten to death by a road raging driver and his passenger last New Years, then getting hit by a driver while riding to a rehab appointment.

A UK website says riding a cargo bike is like driving an SUV, only cooler, and backs it up with a very bizarre looking Japanese entry. Unless maybe you’d rather have a $4,000, 30 mph scooter made by the owner of the LA Times.

Germany’s Canyon Bicycles was the victim of a massive cyber attack over the weekend; their North American operations were reportedly unaffected.

An Australian mountain bike maker promises to plant a tree for every bike they sell, anywhere around the world. Those trees could come in handy after the country’s devastating fires.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome denies rumors he left his team’s training camp after just two days, or that the lingering effects of the injuries he suffered at last year’s Criterium du Dauphine will keep him out of this year’s Tour de France.

The Radavist has details on this weekend’s LA Tourist Race.

 

Finally…

Who wants to be the first to trade the family SUV for a $8,800 three-wheeled, solar-powered, ped-assist e-rickshaw? If your ride isn’t on Strava, did it really happen?

And the next time you’re run down by a hit-and-run driver, maybe call the police before you walk home and take a nap.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider fatally shot in South LA, Peloton’s “awful” new ad, and why people keep dying on our streets

Today is Giving Tuesday.

So take a few moments, and a few dollars, to help make a difference in our world. Or more than a few dollars, even.

Give generously, wherever your heart leads, and to whatever inspires you.

Because Lord knows, this world could use the help.

………

Sad news from South LA, where a man riding a bicycle was shot to death in an apparent drive-by.

The 20-something victim was found lying dead next to a bicycle, in the traffic lane near the intersection of Figueroa and 89th Streets around 9 pm Sunday.

According to a police spokesperson, there is a lot of gang activity in the area, which may or may not explain the motive for the shooting.

Seriously, the only thing more wasteful than unintentionally taking the life of another human being with a car is doing it on purpose with a gun.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

This one just cracks me up.

Today’s best read comes from USA Today’s For The Win! website, begging someone to “please help the woman from Peloton’s awful new ad,” and saying it earns the indoor cycling brand “our collective wrath.”

For the second year in a row, no less.

The woman’s terrified face is so disconcerting, her distress so obvious that it’s impossible to focus on anything else happening in the ad. She’s already trim and gorgeous, and yes, even though exercise should be about more than self-image, it’s clear this woman is trying to compensate for something. Is it her crumbling marriage? Her husband’s not-so-subtle suggestion she drop a few pounds?

The zeal with which she attacks the Peloton clearly speaks to some deep, unfulfilled need somewhere in her life.  Here she is — young, beautiful, successful, with a child and financial security– and yet, something inside her is still so obviously and utterly broken that only an unhealthy fixation on indoor cycling can help mend it.

Meanwhile, the online world quickly jumped in to offer its own takes.

Like this one.

The writer wraps it up this way.

It’s clear this woman doesn’t need a Peloton. She needs a good therapist and a divorce lawyer.

Maybe you won’t find it as funny as I did, after working most of my career in advertising and marketing.

But take the time to read it if you want a good laugh.

Unless maybe you work for Peloton, in which case it’s probably not funny at all.

………

This is why people keep dying on the streets.

A Michigan man was convicted of driving a motorized bicycle without a headlight or a driver’s license, with a BAC over twice the legal alcohol limit.

Which is nothing new for him, though. He had 13 previous DUI convictions on his record, including four stints behind bars.

He’d had just finished adding the motor to his bike.

A Margaritaville-branded bike appropriately enough, given the circumstance.

Meanwhile, a distracted Canadian driver was still on the road despite being cited for cellphone use nine previous times.

………

Metro and the LACBC want to help you learn to ride your bike safely.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Yesterday we mentioned that Michigan volunteers built 240 bikes for Toys for Tots. Today we learn that 130 of those bikes were donated by a single bighearted nine-year old girl, who collected cans all year to pay for them.

Toledo, Ohio police and firefighter unions donated and built 52 kids bicycles for the county children’s service department.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging Russian driver intentionally swerved into a bike rider after brake checking him, knocking him into another car.

But sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Texas woman lost her wallet to a bike-riding bandit, even after she managed to sink her teeth into him.

………

Thanks to Theodore F, Mark J, Moore R, James L, Matthew R and Jack M for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Or nearly every day, anyway.

………

Local

Apparently misunderstanding the “new” in news, the LA Times gets scooped by a full five days on the arrest of the LAUSD teacher in the caught-on-security-cam Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider critically injured.

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew throws down the gantlet for the Militant Angeleno with his preview of this Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia. Meanwhile, CicLAvia clarifies whether ebikes are allowed. Short answer yes, as long as you have to pedal to make it work.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the executive director of the I,400-member SD Mountain Biking Association

The less rural than it used to be Santa Ynez Valley could soon have a bike plan offering a network of new and enhanced bike lanes.

A Bakersfield professor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace a retiring congressman; the Republican former college teammate of Pat Tillman — the Army Ranger who walked away from a successful NFL career after 9/11 only to be killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan — once rode his bike 3,468 miles across the US.

Caltrans wants Sonoma bicyclists to help them identify to area’s worst roads.

 

National

Singletracks reviews eight hip packs for mountain biking. Because no one wants a fanny pack.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a Washington man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation.

It could take up to two years to repair a 195-mile long Nebraska bike path, one of the longest in the US, following massive flooding last spring.

Minnesota police get the law wrong, merely ticketing the impatient driver who killed a woman on a bike by going around a car that was stopped to let her cross in a crosswalk, as well as the courteous and law-abiding driver who stopped for her.

Police in Detroit don’t hesitate to absolve a driver for the crash that seriously injured a bike rider — right up to the point he fled the scene.

Many college students survive on dorm vending machines, but University of Kentucky students can get their bike parts the same way.

A Pittsburgh letter writer blames bike lanes, and the accompanying loss of parking, for threatening the city’s commercial district. Even though all that parking apparently didn’t help the major department stores stay in business before the spaces were removed. And never mind that drivers “speed through listening to music and (ignore) the rules of the road, too.”

DC-area suburbs are adopting Vision Zero plans to protect bike riders and pedestrians on auto centric streets.

A North Carolina pickup driver turned himself in to police Monday afternoon for the Thanksgiving hit-and-run collision that killed a bike rider. Which probably gave him plenty of time to sober up before turning himself in.

A 15-year old Florida boy tragically demonstrated the dangers of skitching, losing control of his bike and slipping under the truck he was holding onto when the driver slowed for a right turn.

 

International

A Toronto writer says e-scooters may be dangerous and annoying, but the city needs them anyway — or anything else that provides an alternative to driving. No, scooter riders can be annoying, but cars and their drivers are dangerous.

Horrible story from China, where three people are missing after a giant sinkhole swallowed a truck and an ebike rider.

A South African writer makes a bike tour of Bangkok sound like a real adventure. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

The famed Paris-Roubaix just got a little less rough. A nearly one-mile section of cobblestones near the end of the race was partially paved, allowing riders on either side to travel a smoother road than those in the middle.

That Congressional Gold Medal for America’s last remaining Tour de France winner isn’t a done deal yet, still needing approval from the Senate after it was approved by the House.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist delivery ebike could be a refrigerator, too. Your next BMX could steer from both ends.

And if you’re going to file a fraudulent insurance claim after a bike crash, turn off your Strava and stop posting to Facebook first.

 

Guest Post: Hit-and-run driver Mehta walks despite showing no remorse, plus updates on other recent stories

We’re going to give our anonymous courtroom correspondent her own platform today.

Starting with an update in the case of 34-year old Medium contributor and author Pratiti Renee Mehta, who was re-sentenced for last year’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured.

And yet another reminder of why people keep dying on our streets.

Two years.

Suspended, of course. ‘Cause she’s learned her lesson.

Upon her July conviction for all counts, Judge Julan Baliley sentenced Mehta to 3 years in State Prison. She left for her Chowchilla vacation almost immediately and was bussed back for her re-sentencing last week.

His Honor informed her that he’d sent her up the river in the hope that exposure to the element that fills our prisons would allow her to reflect on the person she wished to be. She did just that, observing her ilk from what little distance she could keep in such close quarters. According to her diagnostic assessment, she was a “model inmate” who did not create any disruptions during her brief stay.

She was allowed to address the court, and, through tears, expressed regret that she was unable to be present with her family, who experienced two deaths during her absence. She stated that she never wishes to experience incarceration again.

It is telling that she did not state that she never wants to harm an innocent human being with her car ever again, nor did she express regret for the permanent injury inflicted on that “bum” (direct quote from the post-collision texts collected as evidence).

Yup, she intimated that prison was unpleasant for her, but she never once referenced the extensive medical bills, physical pain, PTSD, permanent scars, loss of income, and limp she inflicted on her victim. Not to mention damaging the Peugeot her victim had bought in 1984.

Mehta’s assessment by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation psychologist  concludes that she is unlikely to reoffend. I agree, because she doesn’t wanna experience the hassle of mandatory court appearances, restitution, and incarceration. She won’t deliberately slam her Mercedes against another bum again, not because she gives a damn that others may suffer. Just because she might be affected by the repercussions, and it’s already been such a headache.

Frankly, Mehta lacks empathy. She’s not sorry for her victim; she’s just sorry she got caught.

Typically infuriating for these cases, she is required to sign away her Constitutionally protected right to possess firearms. Yet she is still allowed to drive. In fact, the Judge stated unambiguously that “I am taking no action against your driving privilege.” A driver who fails to use a turn signal will be sentenced to traffic school. But, gosh, all Mehta did was leave a guy lying in the street with his bone sticking out of his leg, and that’s not substantial enough to warrant remedial driver’s education. It might have been helpful if Judge Bailey had used his discretion to order Mehta to comlpete a Savvy Cycling class before returning her privilege to drive.

Also infuriating: Some hideous person left a comment on your blog about how horrible it is that poor li’l Pratiti’s career has been derailed because of all this inconvenience. Well, Mehta’s victim is a stage hand, a manual laborer whose ability to labor manually was taken away from him by her violent assault. To this day, he walks with a limp, and will probably never be 100% again. Although he’s working now, he lost lucrative, prestigious opportunities (plural) because he was unable to work during his physical rehabilitation. The commenter’s ignorance in suggesting that the victim shared fault is terrifying, and it’s disgusting to consider that Mehta associates with those who think this way and who might be able to influence her thoughts, especially since she is still allowed to continue to drive without any education.

In addition to time served (with credits for good behavior), the Judge sentenced Miss Mehta to 2 years in State Prison, suspended, for the felony hit and run count; 6 months in County Jail for the misdemeanor lyin’-to-the-cops count; and fines for the infraction of CVC 21070, “unsafe operation of a motor vehicle causing injury.” Count 4, CVC 21107 (“unsafe turn”), was dismissed.

Mehta will be on formal probation for the next three years. She will probably drive to report in for every appointment.

………

I recently wondered why a driver had been charged with murder for killing someone, which almost never done except in the case of repeated DUIs.

Here’s what she had to say.

Regarding murder charges. I spoke briefly with a random attorney in the courthouse hallway, and “implied malice” (the reasonable knowledge that an act is dangerous) is sufficient to file a charge of murder. “Express malice”  (“I’M GONNA KILL YOU, BITCH!”) makes it a lot easier to prosecute, but if you get reasonable jurors, a murder conviction is not just possible but likely.

This should be a giant duh, but murder is rarely sought in cases involving motor vehicles. Unless, of course, the driver is impaired, or if a threat has been expressed.

And conviction is never a sure bet, as in this case, which ended in acquittal, probably because of the, uh, questionable sobriety of one of the pilots. (This case was actually referenced by DA Cornwell in one of his filings in a vehicular manslaughter case a few years ago, which is why I looked it up.)

………

Yet another reason why people keep getting killed on our streets.

If nobody’s pointed it out yet: 10.4 miles of Vanowen Street is gettin’ a speed limit increase.

Not at the same Vanowen High Injury Network location where a crossing guard was killed at a yellow crosswalk and a HAWK beacon was installed last month. West of there. 10.4 miles, the longest stretch designated for an increase, all within a half mile or less of over twenty preschool and K-12 facilities. But at least those 10.4 miles don’t have many of those useless HAWK beacons. And only about 3 of the 10.4 miles are on the High Injury Network.

Good job, Vision Zero team!

………

That “wipeout” video you posted.

I recognized that Starbucks (and hideous Wells Fargo) instantly. That was my commute route for nearly 10 years.

Also, right where the video began, that’s where Michael Bastien was killed. (His killer’s already out, fwiw.) And that Starbucks is in the same strip mall where another Huntington Beach statistic worked, at Valentino’s Pizza. The dough slinger saw Bastien’s ghost bike every day, just meters from his work; he was hit on October 13th, 2015, and died in the hospital on the 19th, on the anniversary of Shaun Eagleson’s murder. If I’m marking dates, Wednesday would’ve been AJ Brumback’s 17th birthday. (Note: The killer of the then-eight-year old boy didn’t spend a day behind bars.)

A simple right-hook video shouldn’t create a cascade of these associations.

………

She also addressed last week’s response to a column by OC Register columnist David Whiting calling for a mandatory bike helmet law.

David Whiting’s friend Pete Tomaino was wearing a helmet when he was killed while riding his bike. Look, there’s a picture of Pete in the newspaper, wearing his holy, all-protective helmet!

Orange County bicyclists Joey Robinson, Roger Lippman, Shaun Eagleson, former Olympian Amine Britel, Sara Leaf, Debra Deem, Fire Captain Mike Kreza, all wearing helmets when they were killed.

The human brain can shut down permanently as a result of trauma not inflicted by a direct blow to the head. Even if you’re wearing a motorcycle helmet, damage to your rain not inflicted by a direct blow can kill you. No helmet will prevent trauma-induced hypoxia or rhabdomyolysis.

………

And she ends on a personal note.

Sunday night I was nearly killed by a creep who ran a red (not orange; very, very red) at a blind corner at 50 mph. I am still shook.

You know how your brain replays everything over and over and over in these situations, all the scenarios with variable timelines could have resulted in a different outcome. Yeah, that’s what my head’s been doing. For days.

Also, I had the plate, driver’s description, and location, and damn right I called it in, and the Sheriff will do nothing about the piddly little infraction that nearly killed me and the other driver with the same green light.

I won’t rant, but I am still shook. If I weren’t the type to look for cross traffic, if I hadn’t been on my slow janky bike while my Kilo TT’s in the shop, if I hadn’t yielded a block before for a turning driver, I wouldn’t be writing this.

If, if, if.

If, indeed.

Morning Links: Auto-centric traffic safety denier op-ed in OC Register, cross-border bike rescue, and why people keep dying

One quick bit of advice before we get started. 

With all the fires in California this week, it’s important to note that wildfire smoke can cause problems ranging from allergies and irritated eyes to lasting lung damage. 

So if you can smell smoke, don’t ride. If you have to ride, wear a mask.

And stop by your local hardware store or pharmacy to get one that really works.

Your lungs will thank you. 

Photo by Denniz Futalan from Pexels.

………

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding.

An op-ed in the Orange County Register makes some of the most blatant auto-centric, traffic safety denier arguments for the preservation of automotive hegemony we’ve yet seen.

Starting with the photo and captions of the “recent” road diets in Playa Del Rey.

LA Department of Transportation crews began restoring a second eastbound lane of traffic on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Del Rey while adding bollards as barriers to protect new bike/walk lanes. A recent “road diet” caused gridlock and backlash from commuters. Work is expected to be complete by Monday morning commute. Photo by Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/SCNG

Only problem is, those road diets and bike lanes were removed two year ago. after climate friendly progressive mayor had them unceremoniously yanked out.

Evidently, it’s taken LADOT a long damn time to finish the work.

Or maybe our friendly neighborhood traffic safety denier authors — one a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, which is funded by the anti-transit Koch Brothers, the other an attorney and member of traffic safety denier pressure group Keep LA Moving — didn’t bother to do even the most basic fact checking.

Or maybe just didn’t care.

As demonstrated by their lead paragraphs, repeating the myth that a recent road diet prevented the evacuation of Paradise CA, leading to the deaths of 86 people.

Except it’s not true, according to the town’s mayor.

Mayor Jody Jones said Tuesday that the evacuation of Paradise, begun at 7:46 a.m Nov. 8, was complete by 3 p.m. Residents who arrived at a shelter in Oroville said the 16-mile exodus took 2½ hours, better than the three-hour evacuation in 2008 that sparked the Butte County Grand Jury’s investigation.

“I don’t believe that it really mattered,” Jones said of the changes made on Skyway. “I don’t think there’s any town in the world prepared with a roadway infrastructure that could evacuate their entire town all at once. They’re just not built to do that.”

That’s right.

The evacuation route took half an hour less than the same journey ten years earlier — six years before the road was even installed.

Then there’s this whopper.

The mass-produced automobile is one of the greatest inventions in American history because it brought both physical and economic mobility to the masses. These benefits were accompanied by pollution and safety issues, but such problems have dramatically declined. Cars today are 99 percent cleaner than cars in 1970, and fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles have declined more than 75 percent.

Ask anyone who rides a bike or walks if they feel safer on the streets.

Never mind that this great invention they cite is literally one of the least efficient ways to move human beings from one place to another. And has the entire world on the brink of a climate disaster.

But hey, they’re not as bad as they used to be, right?

Or how about this?

The numbers reveal that fatalities plummeted 21 percent after the 2008 financial crisis. This was because total driving fell by 2.3 percent, reducing congestion and apparently increasing safety. When driving and congestion increased again during the economic recovery, fatalities also increased, though not by as much as they had declined.

This suggests that small reductions in traffic congestion can save many lives. Congestion especially makes intersections and streets more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

However, there is a much better case to be made that while congestion may increase the risk of collisions, the severity of crashes decreases along with the decrease in speeds.

As we’ve seen in LA, the risk of traffic fatalities actually increases dramatically when streets are less congested, enabling drivers to speed and drive more aggressively.

Studies have found that for every pedestrian whose life might be saved by slowing traffic, anywhere from 35 to 85 people will die from sudden cardiac arrest due to delayed emergency response. This doesn’t even count other medical emergencies, structure fires, or other emergency service needs.

Someone please show us these studies, because they defy all comprehension.

Or maybe the Federal Highway Administration has no idea what they’re talking about when they say that not only do road diets not slow down emergency response times, they can actually improve them.

Then our traffic safety denier guides bring it down to the local level, LA style.

Los Angeles installed a road diet on Venice Boulevard, a tsunami, fire, and earthquake evacuation route, converting two of six traffic lanes into bicycle lanes. Auto traffic declined yet bicycle-auto accidents increased, a problem worsened by the difficulty emergency vehicles had in reaching injured cyclists.

Which is funny, since the road diet on Venice Blvd, aka the Mar Vista Great Streets project, actually reduced injury collisions involving people on bicycles, while eliminating severe injury collisions.

And average response times for the Mar Vista fire station are just 30 seconds longer than the citywide average.

Yes, every second matters. But clearly, the roads aren’t as congested and impassible as they would have us believe.

Let’s end on this note.

Calculations using the Department of Transportation’s National Transit Database reveal that transit in Los Angeles and most cities not named New York uses more energy and emits more greenhouse gases per passenger mile than the average car or SUV. Autos use even more energy and pollute the most in congested traffic, so increasing congestion or forcing people onto transit are the wrong ways to protect the environment.

The solution is not to force people to keep driving, which has already resulted in ever increasing traffic congestion virtually everywhere, with or without road diets.

It’s to provide viable alternatives to driving in order to get more of those cars, trucks and SUVs off the road. And the way to do that is by making bicycling, walking and transit safer, more pleasant and more efficient.

Not by doing the exact opposite.

Note: I debunked many of these and other similar myths by the Keep LA Moving half of these traffic safety denier authors in a response to his equally wacky Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year.

Sadly, it’s clear they’ll still get a platform, though, as long as newspapers keep excluding opinion pieces from any form of fact checking.

………

David Drexler forwards news of a stolen bicycle returned to its owner, despite being taken across the border into Mexico.

Thanks in part to Bike Index.

BIKE INDEX AIDS IN RARE CROSS-BORDER RECOVERY
San Diego, Coronado, and Tijuana police forces collaborate expertly after receiving a tip on Bike Index to recover this $6,000 bicycle.

“Hi think I saw your bike on a swap meet place in Tijuana, which was a very weird place for me find an awesome bike. I’ve got the feeling that it was stolen so I took some pics and sent them to your phone. I hope it’s your stolen bike.” In August, a bike was stolen from outside of the Hotel del Coronado. A month later, someone messaged the registrant using Bike Index, believing they saw the bike at a swap meet in Mexico. Officers in Tijuana recovered the bike and met officers from the San Diego and Coronado police at the border to return the stolen bike to the owner. Cross-border recoveries are extremely rare! We’ve only had two others in our history: one bike found in Guadalajara and another found in Mexico City.

So what are you waiting for?

Register your own bike, already. Before it’s too late.

………

This is why people keep dying on the streets.

The family of a Michigan man is understandably upset about a plea deal that would mean just one year in jail for the hit-and-run driver who killed him as he was riding his bike, instead of the maximum of 15-years behind bars.

After a New York trucker was convicted of killing a bike rider while driving with a suspended license, the judge sentenced him to…wait for it…another suspended sentence. Which probably won’t keep him off the roads, either.

A Malaysian judge dropped all charges and freed a woman who had slammed her car into a group of teenaged bike riders, killing eight young men; the judge ruled the police had failed to sufficiently investigate the crash. And even gave her back her driver’s license so she could do it again.

………

The LACBC offers a few slogans for your Climate Strike sign at this Friday’s City Hall protest, which will feature 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Brooklyn garbage collectors respond to the recent deaths of bike riders killed by garbage truck drivers by walling off a bike lane with garbage cans to protest this damn bike riders. No, really.

Then there’s this, from our own LA backyard.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley says the new Safe Lanes app is the best way to record and report drivers who block bike lanes.

………

Local

Here’s a better version of the Eastsider’s story about construction work on the new Red Car Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River that we linked to yesterday. Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the link.

West Hollywood ranked in the bottom third of America’s Best Small Cities, but scored a top 20 ranking for quality of life, due in part to its bikeshare system. Which has now been removed.

It’s not just bike riders who are dying in LA-area hit-and-runs.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission will livestream a symposium on the state’s Active Transportation Program today and tomorrow.

San Diego residents can look forward to a number of street disruptions in the South Bay Area for construction of the South Bay Rapid transit system starting, uh, yesterday. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

More news from down south, where the bikeways program of the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is on hold for a year after falling behind schedule and $79 million over budget. Smart thinking. Nothing will get them back on track like falling even further behind.

Sacramento residents discuss how they’d make biking and walking safer.

 

National

Great long read from Cycling Tips’ James Huang, aka the Angry Asian, who says enough already, it’s time the bike industry did something about traffic deaths, while a Kentucky newspaper says not only are more pedestrians dying on our streets, but even more carnage lies ahead.

Vox says carfree zones could be the future of cities. Exactly what former state legislator Mike Gatto called for in Sunday’s Daily News.

He gets it. A writer for a public interest research group says with the dangers posed by climate change, bike riders getting scared off the roads by safety fears should be a big red flag, and we already know how to fix it.

A driving website recommends the best bike bells, calling them a must-have for a “safe, care-free ride.” Because evidently, a bell can be heard above a bumping sound system in a hermetically sealed, virtually soundproof motor vehicle, instantly alerting the driver he’s about to run over your ass. Right?

Outside tests three popular e-cargo bikes, and likes the Tern best. But says the much cheaper RadWagon will still get you there.

Evidently, they don’t get a lot of bike-riding Buddhist monks in Memphis. Or headline proof readers, for that matter.

When Boston park benches get in the way of bike stunts, just take an angle cutter and remove them. The benches, that is.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York responds to this year’s epidemic of bicycling deaths with a $1.7 billion commitment to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is committed to building bupkis.

A bike rider says he was tackled off his bike while riding on a DC trail and robbed at gunpoint, with the thief taking his bike, pannier, wallet and everything else he had with him.

The admittedly drunk New Orleans driver who killed two people riding bikes and injured several others at a Mardi Gras parade has changed his plea and and admitted guilt to all charges; he now faces up to 80 years behind bars.

A kindhearted anonymous donor dropped off a new bicycle for a Florida chef after his was stolen while he was at work; he can’t drive due to epilepsy and relies on his bicycle to get anywhere.

 

International

Interesting idea. A new bike stem comes with a built-in bike computer and 800 lumen headlight.

A brazen British bike thief literally followed a woman into a local shop to steal her new bike, after she took it in because she’d forgotten her lock.

In an absolutely brilliant step, a Belgian TV show takes politicians on a bike ride to show them the poor state of bicycle infrastructure, then confronts them with 500 relatives of people on bicycles who died because of it. Maybe if an LA TV station tried that, we might actually see some changes around here.

The City Fix offers three key lessons from The Netherlands to help spur bicycling in your own city.

A Pakistani man was killed when a glass-coated kite string fell on him, slitting his throat as he rode his bike; coated strings are used for popular kite battles in which the goal is to cut the strings of other kites.

Japanese internet users are in a tizzy after a mom is caught on video smacking her son in the head and knocking him down, for riding his bike in front of a car without looking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling likes next year’s Giro course, of course.

Good for them. After the lead rider in a Brazilian bike race got hit by a driver on an open course while the cop responsible for stopping traffic stood idly by checking his phone (see below), the entire peloton laid down their bikes and walked off in protest.

But maybe you’re more into Brompton racing.

 

Finally…

Mutant bikes and the people who love them. Who hasn’t dreamed of one day owning a shape-shifting aero bike helmet?

And nothing like getting dropped by a little kid.

 

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